Film review: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (4 out of 5)

It's always a tough ask - take a real-life incident that everyone knows about and try to keep up the tension for 90 or more minutes.

Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart in Sully
Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart in Sully

Well director Clint Eastwood does his best and ‘Sully’ is certainly a fascinating study of five minutes of aviation history that ended with a dramatic forced landing on water, but remarkably with no casualties.

Tom Hanks plays Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, the highly experienced pilot who was in control of Flight 1549 on a chilly January day in 2009.

Shortly after take-off a bird strike knocked out both engines and left Sully with the choice of trying for a landing at a nearby airport or ditch in the River Hudson.

And the movie centres on that decision as the crash investigators attempt to find out if the choice he made was the correct one - in other words, could he have saved both the plane and the passengers, rather than just the latter.

Hanks is always worth a watch and shows Sully to be the intelligent and caring professional he undoubtedly is.

Aaron Eckhart plays the first officer Jeff Skiles, sporting an amazing moustache, the only other person able to back Sully up as he was sat next to him.

The forced landing is filmed very realistically and we certainly see it a few times!

I’m sure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did their job thoroughly and professionally, searching out all possible scenarios and possibilities as you would expect, but the film does create an ‘us against them’ feel that didn’t quite work for me.

And there is a fair bit of leaping about in the timeline.

But ultimately this is an amazing story about a man who did his job and pulled off a remarkable feat that 155 passengers (plus their family and friends) will be eternally grateful for.

Film details: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (12A) 96mins

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol